This really was, Downhill all the way. I find it hard to find one redeeming quality.
Director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Screenwriter: Jesse Armstrong, Nat Faxon
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell, Miranda Otto
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 86 Minutes
Rating: 1.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t exactly go into this film expecting it to be the best thing since sliced bread. But as the film is being touted as a comedy, I did expect it to at least elicit a few chuckles from myself and my fellow cinema goers. But nope. No Siree. Other than one guy way down front, who seemed to find every other line of dialogue hilarious, there were very few laughs and I left the screen feeling bored and irritated.
Billie and Pete have taken their family on a skiing holiday in the alps so they can spend some quality time together. One afternoon while having lunch outside a restaurant, a controlled avalanche gets a little out of control, and rushes down the mountain towards the clueless vacationers. After the snow settles, Billie looks around their table to see that not only are they all alive, but Pete has grabbed his phone and run away, leaving his family in the path of the avalanche.
This film just couldn’t quite decide what it wanted to be. If it had been a total slapstick comedy, and the comedy had been the focus of the film, then maybe it would have been funnier and therefore more enjoyable. Or if they had made it a drama, and gotten rid of the comedy all together it could have been a really heart wrenching story, watching a marriage fall apart before your eyes. Either way I doubt this Hollywood-ised version lives up to the Foreign Language Original FORCE MAJEURE by Ruben Östlund. Instead neither the humour nor the drama here were played as well as they should have been.
Will Ferrell isn’t even close to on top form here, and he is still being cast as the adult that at heart is just a big kid, and we have seen him play that role a few times now. It’s getting stale. Julia Louis-Dreyfus does a better job and is probably the best dramatic actor in the film, she has a few great moments and some amazing dialogue deliveries, that stopped this film being a complete write off for me. It’s just a shame she had to play such a weak character.
Throughout the entire film the characters just make one terrible decision after another, and really the whole thing could have bee settled if the tow main characters could have sat down and talked to each other like adults. Instead they just ignore each other’s feelings and do TERRIBLE things in order to make themselves feel better. So, by the end of the film, when they are reconciling, you don’t care anymore before they have become horribly unlikeable people. Which is a shame as they have to carry the entire film. There are virtually no real side characters, and the side characters we get are either awful stereotypes, or so bland you forget about them as soon as they are off the screen.
Save your money on this one and go and see something else instead.